Avranches: Summer Course (2016)

Affiche de l'école d'été Biblissima à Avranches (2016)

The Case of the Library of Mont Saint-Michel — Edition and Cataloguing Today

This summer course, organised by the Bibliothèque patrimoniale d'Avranches in partnership with the Centre Michel de Boüard – CRAHAM, the MRSH – Université de Caen and the Equipex Biblissima, was held in Avranches from Monday 29th August to Friday 2nd September 2016.

The main objective of this course, which has been organised as part of the partner project on the Virtual Library of Mont Saint-Michel, was to provide an introduction to digital tools for editing and cataloguing early primary source documents, taking the example of the manuscripts and early printed books that were once a part of the library of Mont Saint-Michel and that are now held in Avranches. The course alternated between lectures, practical workshops and case studies.

The course was held at the Bibliothèque patrimoniale d’Avranches and also included lecture tours of the Scriptorial and the Mont Saint-Michel.

Download the full programme


Monday 29th August – The Library of Mont Saint-Michel and Biblissima

9:00-9:30 – Arrival of participants


  • Opening Session
  • The Biblissima Programme and the Virtual Library of Mont Saint-Michel Partner Project
  • The Library of Mont Saint-Michel: from Medieval Library to Maurist Library
  • Manuscript Case Study (1/5): Avranches BM, 214


  • Lecture Tour of the Avranches Historical Collections – from the French Revolution to Today
  • Manuscript Case Study (2/5): Avranches BM, 235
  • Participants present their current research / projects (posters)

Tuesday 30th August – Digital Standards and Tools for Edition and Cataloguing. Digital Catalogues: Standards and Applications (1)


  • Manuscript Case Study (3/5): Avranches BM, 46
  • XML Standards and Tools: Vocabularies (EAD + TEI), Encoding Tools and Publication Tools


  • Principles for Cataloguing Manuscripts and Good Practice for the Use of EAD in Libraries

Lecture Tour of Mont Saint-Michel

Wednesday 31st August – Digital Catalogues: Standards and Applications (2)


  • Principles for Cataloguing Early Printed Books
  • Example: the Virtual Library of Mont Saint-Michel
  • Practical Workshop: Cataloguing a Printed Volume in XML


  • Practical Workshop: Cataloguing a Manuscript in XML

Lecture Tour of the Scriptorial of Avranches

Thursday 1st September – Digital Edition of Old Inventories and Catalogues


  • Typology of Inventories and Issues Surrounding them
  • Digital Productions – Tools, Methods, Constraints


  • Manuscript Case Study (4/5): Avranches BM, 159
  • Practical Workshop: Editing an Old Inventory in XML
  • Manuscript Case Study (5/5): Avranches BM, 213

20:30 – Public Conference

  • “Qui furent les abbés du Mont Saint-Michel ? Le témoignage d'une chronique médiévale (Avranches BM, 213, ff. 178r-181v – De abbatibus)”

Friday 2nd September – Digital Edition of Early Primary Sources


  • Critical Editions: Editorial Choices and Tools to Use
  • Some Examples of Critical Editions

13:30- 16:30

  • Practical Workshop: Encoding the Text of the De abbatibus (Avranches BM, 213) for a Multi-format Edition
  • Closing Session